Vans Warped Tour – Review

Vans Warped Tour
Comerica Park – Detroit, Michigan
30 July 2010

After what would be a fantastic nap on the ride to Detroit for Warped Tour 2010, I awake to find myself transplanted to the wonderful world of the east side. The event itself was located all around Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers.

I come through the concourse to the stadium and was overcome by the pure fury of people. Located around is a massive array of booths for bands and their merch. There was one with something about seamen and the Captain. I met him. I continue on, no goal in mind. I know that I need to see some frickin music and the Dillinger Escape Plan should be playing soon. With a quick look at my cell phone, I realize am missing it. Off I go, my ear to the air, for the sound of brutality; not some Eli Roth movie, but the aural pleasures of musical brutality version.

I find the stage quite easily and come in on the second half of the set. The band is killing it with deadly accuracy. If you have never seen Dillinger Escape Plan, do it and rest up for it as well. The singer launches himself into the crowd, other members are setting up stacks on stacks and launching into space. During the last song, the pit reaches its peak as some 15 year old kid just wrecks it; reminds me of myself at that age. I found him after the set was done if he had ever heard of Dillinger before, “No, I just walked by and had to get a taste of it”. How cool, maybe there is hope left for this next generation of music lovers. Maybe…

On I go again, mostly just wandering as I have no list of what’s coming. I hit up the Skull Candy stage for AM Taxi, a band out of Chicago, throwing out some decent punk fare that reminded me a bit of some Social D. They have some serious fans in the mix keeping time with the singer and the poppy backing vocals. I would say the best thing I took from this performance is the super sweet keyboards laying down some soulful organ to accompany the rest of the band. Note to the world: ADD MORE ORGAN! That’s just how I feel.

Heading over to the ‘Keep a Breast Foundation’ tent, I hear something almost out of place for Warped, but not for my ears: it’s Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band playing an acoustic. A three piece setup with the drummer on box and bucket, a washboard player and Rev Peyton himself rocking on guitar and slide. Having heard all day how this guy just shreds, I made sure to get all of this bluegrass/rockabilly joyousness. This is hard bluegrass, reminding me of a time when I lived in the south. Check it out I tell you.

I find myself killing time now, I know that iwrestledabearonce will be on soon. Of course it’s all the way on the other side. Being loaded down with camera and notepad does not make this so easy. This is what I saw from here to there: three fights, one being two on one sucker punch from behind (lame, really lame) as well as some music. We The Kings, eh is what I say but who am I, the crowd was going nuts for them. Versamerge, a four piece female led kind of poppy affair. Not bad, really catchy tunes, if you dig that sort of thing. Then Four Year Strong , slightly aggressive rock with that anthem quality that seems to blast through the pop rock airwaves. Not bad, again just not my thing.

While waiting for IWABO, the local stage right next to it was packed full for a local MC Michael Posner. One of those acts that makes you feel old cause everyone there had hands up in the air going along with all his jams and all I could think was ‘damn kids, get off my lawn!’ Or something like. Needless to say, I just focused on my first band I was doing some photos for. I will try and not write five pages out how much I dig these guys, iwrestledabearonce. Seriously brutal, just absolutely fantastic. Lots of energy and amazingly ethereal vocals that curdle into a scream of murderous intent. Oh yeah, I like them oh some much. Not just because we share a love for PBR either, though it does help.

After a few songs I head back again to the other side of this set up to catch Eyes Set to Kill. I was lucky to find the one spot not covered in bodies or trash for my first actual rest of the day (6 hours strong at that point). After a good 10 minutes of blood flow returning to parts dry for hours now, Eyes Set to Kill hit the Ernie Ball stage and the crowd fills in like a flash flood in the desert. You can tell that many are here to see them by the smiles across that area. The songs come out clean with the battles between fire and ice on the vocals of Alexia and screaming of Cisko. This is an enjoyable band to listen to, they hold a good stage presence and the two sisters are smoking hot. Enough said.

I have one more band coming up I have to see. When doing my interviews that day I asked a lot of people who would you want people to really check out, other than yourselves that is. The overwhelming response was Closure in Moscow. Great thing is they are the closing band at the stage I was already at. Bonus! The crowd actually doubles when I thought no more could fit. Excitement fills the air as well as the scent of unwashed bodies. It’s a tough mix for sure. All of a sudden this modulated voice comes over the PA explaining how we are to now be commanded by our alien overlord. Ok… Then out comes this man more alien wood nymph than anything. Well I kind of laughed, then was promptly shut up by the authoritative stage command from this progressive rock bit of insanity. I love it, it reminds me so much of Mars Volta meets some alien world. This is another band I would highly recommend, highly.

Winding down now, I overhear a couple more bands. Alkaline Trio, though I didn’t pay much mind. I understand that this is the time where the heavy hitter comes out, I just wasn’t having much of it. Though Suicide Silence just killed it, I came up on them having the crowd open up a massive circle pit. The lead singer held them at bay, the music building in to this wave of Red Sea proportions. Then came the biggest game of red rover I have ever seen as the singer let the hounds loose on a 1-2-3 count. Seriously, at least 20 people went down in a few seconds. Emmarosa was the last band I caught before heading out into the Detroit night and infamy (for other untold reason). I dug it, that’s for sure. They had a really cool post-hardcore feel that I usually do not get into though was feeling it tonight. Best part by far is when the singer called out some message board troll by the name of Methadone Bill or Mike and asked that security allow him on stage to get served with ass whooping. Surprise, the guy did not show.

What did show this day was a whole lot of fun, blazing ass sun and music piled upon more music. All things I like to get into, especially when I do not see it coming.